From 4th May 2019 to date, several attacks on various Banyamulenge villages have left more than 200 innocent Banyamulenge civilians dead, 150,000 homeless, 40,000 houses incinerated, and 40,000 herds of cattle looted by the attackers.
Observers say this is not just an ethnic problem. It is an international conflict with many foreign actors.
Some 125,000 people from 100 villages fled to safer neighbouring villages and to the surrounding forests. Armed groups looted and burnt villages, causing severe damages to shelter and critical infrastructure including health and sanitation facilities.
Coalitions of militias drawn from the Babembe, Bafuliru, and Banyindu communities who consider themselves “indigenous” Congolese are fighting the Banyamulenge often derided as outsiders.
More than 100 villages the majority of them Banyamulenge have been burnt, according to some estimations.
Mass theft of cattle has wiped away the livelihoods of many Banyamulenge residents, the brutal killings is a calculated campaign to dislodge them from their villages in Minembwe and Itombwe.
According to reports, clashes have intensified in recent weeks, as the mai-mai and RNC militias close in on Minembwe town, where thousands of displaced Banyamulenge have sought protection around a UN peacekeeping base.
UN Report of Experts on the Congo released in 2018 cited RNC and P5 platform among foreign negative forces with bases in Minembwe. The report also named Uganda and Burundi as main source of P5 recruits and supplies.
It is on record that many P5 fighters mostly RNC were earlier this year killed or captured by Congolese forces, FARDC, around the same region.
Those captured were later transferred to Kigali where they are on trial.
Anticipated scope and scale
Congolese forces (FARDC) have stepped up their operations, which translated in to a slight improvement in the security situation in some areas in North Kivu; however, more efforts are needed to do the same.